Bloomington blogger Erin Olson operates 10 blogs that link consumers with places to purchase home decor and other products, sorted mostly by hue.
Q Your personal blog, www.houseofturquoise.com, pays homage to all things blue. What's it about?
A It's inspirational, with photos of beautiful rooms. It just makes you feel happy. You go on it and get ideas. A happy place I call it. Eye candy.
Q How did you parlay that into a job?
A A few years after graduation I moved to Dresden, Germany. I love to shop. But when I was there I couldn't shop because I didn't have any money and I didn't want to go to the stores if I couldn't buy anything. So I was doing all this Web work, looking around at stores back in America and then posting them on my blog saying, "Look at this -- it's so cute." ... It was just needing to share stuff I couldn't buy!
Q When did you know you had something?
A I check statistics. I noticed that a lot of people were Googling brown and blue bedding. I thought, maybe I should do a sort just for brown and blue bedding, if that's what people want.
Q Which is most popular?
A Black and white, and brown and blue is next. So right now I do four items a day on black and white and three a day on brown and blue and five a day on Everything Turquoise. Bedding Envy is getting more and more popular; I do that twice a day, every day. The rest of them are all one. The pink and brown? I'm not a big fan, but that's what people wanted.
Q How does your job work?
A I joined an affiliate company first. Through there I applied to different programs; from them you get codes and special links to put on your site. Those have codes in them to identify you. I make money if someone buys something. And it puts in a cookie; if people come back during a certain time period, I get a commission for that. So don't clear out your cookies!
Q Are you still working 14-hour days?
A Now it's eight to 10. Every day I post for the next day. I do them all the night before and have them scheduled for 9:40 a.m. Before [my software] let me publish in advance, I was just doing it spur-of-the-moment. Now I can do whatever I want and get all my work done before midnight!
Q So do you work in your pajamas?
A Pretty much every day.
Q Back to turquoise. Do you ever get tired of it?
A I have liked it since I was probably 11 years old. Not just liked, loved. Someone said that if you like a color more than a year that you're not going to get sick of it. It's true.
Q What happened when you were 11?
A The Florida Marlins; I think it's baseball. The team was new; I saw their cap. I just thought, wow, that color.
Q Any other blues you fancy? A runner-up?
A Right now, I'd say it's cobalt blue. And I really like that with turquoise!
Q What design blogs inspire you?
A Decorology, Delikatisssen, Desire to Inspire. I love Apartment Therapy. They have such great ideas. I have 200 blogs in my RS reader, so it's hard to pick. Alkemie is another. She and I have gotten to be pretty good e-mail friends.
Q What about dead-tree subscriptions?
A I really love House Beautiful. They really always have such pretty pictures. And Coastal Living, obviously. All that blue! I also get Elle Decor, Metropolitan Home. Not Country Living; I just look at their website. But I'm going to have to get it. I just only recently started to notice that it's more modern than I had given it credit to be.
Q What do you think the Web is good for, design-wise?
A For inspiration! When I was hanging up my pictures, I could just Google "picture collage" and then get 100 pictures of how other people did it. It's all just a click away to see how other people do things. I just think the Internet is good to see how normal people decorate.
Q Do you have hobbies?
A Photography. I love movies. I could watch 10 a day and never get bored. I'm usually attracted to independents. I haven't seen a movie in the theaters in a long time. I don't even have a TV. I do everything over the Internet.
Q So your iMac monitor must be bodacious.
A It's 24 inches. I wanted it big enough so I can use it for a TV.
Q What's your decorating philosophy?
A Feminine, definitely. I love florals, pinks, and obviously, blues. I love a white, neutral background, too, because I feel the colors pop more. And I like modern furnishings: Ikea, Crate & Barrel. I love Room & Board. I wish I could afford it more!
Q Which turquoise piece is your favorite?
A My desk chair with a zebra seat that I re-did myself.
Q And which piece do you love most, regardless of color?
A My couch! I love it because it's white. I love to change things around a lot. I have way more pillows and throws and stuff than you see. Same with my bedroom. I have 10 different duvet covers, and I like to change them around.
Q It seems fair to say you believe that color is powerful.
A Yes! I love to wear it. I love it around me. It makes me happy. It really, really does!